I find it only appropriate that I've been trudging through Leviticus as we head into Easter weekend. The number of rules, regulations, and sacrifices make my head spin. The way the Israelites came to present offerings to the Lord on the altar and then immediately turned around to sin again causes me to recognize the vastness of my sin.
The truth is: I am a sinner in great need of a Savior.
This isn't me offering a platitude of humility, but it is me truly grasping the truth that my heart, mind, and motives are often less-than-holy. My focus is often on something (someone) other than God. My heart chases after things of the world instead of things of Jesus.
I have long suffered from a critical heart, which leads to bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger.
And that’s just the stuff God’s working on with me today.
As I have worked through the book of Leviticus, what has become so clear to me is that I am no less in need of a Savior today as the Israelites needed a Savior all those years ago. The difference is only that I have received one.
And that incites, no, demands, really, celebration.
Not out of obligation or religious tradition. Not out of duty to the calendar or my kids’ watchful eyes. But out of the depths of gratitude deep within my heart. Out of love for Jesus that has only grown over the years through suffering, pain, and sin.
This upcoming celebration is not a time to be religious. It’s not a time to go through the motions, sing the songs, eat the ham, and hide the eggs. It is a time to fall before the Lord, crying, "I am unworthy… so unworthy."
This weekend, as you pull into the church parking lot, if that's something you plan on doing, I pray that God invades your heart as he has mine in the recent weeks. That the sacrifice God offered for you won’t be lost in the fun of Easter Baskets and Brunches. That his love for you will permeate every last bit of your worship service, and you will have no choice but to be overcome with gratitude that overflows into praise with every single breath on Sunday.
Happy Easter, Friend. He is risen. He is risen, indeed.